Eye Conditions

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma, once thought of as a single disease, is actually a broad term for a pattern of damage to the optic nerve (the bundle of nerve fibers that carries information from the eye to the brain). This pattern usually occurs in the presence of high intraocular pressure, but contrary to popular belief, glaucoma can occur with normal or even below-normal eye pressure. Left untreated, glaucoma can result in vision loss.

Vision experts estimate that half of those affected may not know they have it because symptoms may not occur during the early stages of the disease. By the time the patient notices something is wrong, the disease has already caused considerable damage. Unfortunately, the vision lost to glaucoma is gone forever.

Who is at risk of developing Glaucoma?

Certain people are at greater risk of developing glaucoma than others. Risk factors include age, family history, race, diabetes, hypertension, and previous use of certain medications.

What are the treatments for Glaucoma?

Depending upon the type of glaucoma, eye drops or surgery may be needed. Dr. Militello will monitor your pressure and has the equipment to take photos of your optic nerve to determine the current status of your glaucoma diagnosis. Dr. Militello can prescribe a wide range of glaucoma medications (eye drops) to help lower the pressure in your eye. He will take into consideration any other preexisting conditions and other medications you currently take to find the right eye drop for you.

Dr. Militello can also perform laser surgery for glaucoma. This procedure, called a Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty, has the goal of reducing the pressure in your eye. During the laser surgery a tiny beam of light is used to make small holes in the filtering system of the eye to increase the flow of fluid out of the eye and maintain good eye pressure.